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Overwhelming support for strike action at Grimsby Institute

14 June 2013 | last updated: 10 December 2015

Members of UCU at Grimsby Institute today overwhelmingly backed industrial action in their dispute over job losses and cuts to staff pay and conditions.

There was unanimous support for action short of a strike, which could include things like refusing to work overtime, and 96% of members who voted backed strike action.

UCU members are meeting on Tuesday (18 June) to decide what next steps they will take and what form any industrial action will take.

Staff are furious that the college is using national funding cuts as an excuse to axe one in five teaching staff, despite spending less on staff than the national average. As well as the job losses the union says the college is seeking to rip up workload agreements, slash staff pay and ride roughshod over employment rights.

UCU regional official, Julie Kelley, said: 'Strike action is always a last resort, but UCU members at Grimsby Institute have given their clear backing for industrial action today. The overwhelming mandate for strike action demonstrates how cross they are and we'll be meeting on Tuesday to discuss what happens next.

'In tough economic times Grimsby Institute should be doing everything possible to support and enhance the local economy by providing educational opportunities to the community. Making staff redundant and cutting courses benefit no-one.'

According to the latest accounts (up to 31 July 2012), Grimsby Institute spent 52.1% of its income on staff costs in 2011-12, against a sector average for comparable further education colleges of 61.5%. In that financial year it made a surplus of £3.7m and (as of 31 July 2012) held reserves of £19.6m.

During 2012, the college made a significant number of staff redundant at both Grimsby and its Scarborough campuses, which included shutting A-level courses at Grimsby. UCU is worried that the quality of education at the college will be affected by job losses, inevitable bigger classes, and increased workloads for the staff that remain.

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